Stephen “Steve” Hetico

Stephen “Steve” Hetico, age 68, of League City, Texas gained his wings on Monday, February 27, 2023. Steve was born in Waukegan IL, the son of Rev. Robert and Rachel Pentinmaki Hetico. All four of his grandparents emigrated from Finland to the United States where they worked in the iron mines of Michigan and for the United Postal Service in Pennsylvania. Steve was raised in the Finnish Lutheran church. His father conducted services in English and in Finnish. Steve graduated from Carthage College, a small Lutheran college on the shores of Lake Michigan. He and his brother Bob were champion swimmers for the college.

After graduation, Steve began his 36-year teaching career, teaching every subject to 6th graders, and coaching swimming, track, basketball and football, in Waukegan and later in Clear Creek ISD here in Texas. He loved all his students and his favorite subjects were World Cultures and Reading. Even after his retirement from formal teaching, Steve was a teacher to his grandson Matthew, and with his wife Beth, he was very active in Matthew’s elementary school, League City Elementary. There, they both encountered many of their former students who are now teachers, staff and parents of students at the school. Steve absolutely loved that.

Steve’s working life entailed much more than teaching. He repeatedly cracked up his family and friends with: “Did I ever tell you about when I worked at . . . . “

He spread asphalt, tended bar, operated an extruder, assembled Chryslers, and much more. And for 46 years he painted houses, more than 20 years with his dear friend John Lauret in Waukegan and another 26 years here in League City, including many years with Fredy Baten, who he mentored in painting and in business and grew to consider as part of his family.

Family was of primary importance to Steve. He treasured his relationship with his siblings, his son Michael and with the Texas family he and Beth shared. Steve is predeceased by his parents and his brother John. He is survived by his wife, Beth, his children and grandchildren Michael (Ursula), Janet (Kevin), Steven (Suleika), Matthew, Adelaide and Genevieve. He is also survived by siblings Tim (Waleka) Bob (Kathrine), Hope (Alan) and their families.

Steve was a warm and loving Buppa, husband and Dad. He had a very special relationship with his grandson Matthew. They spent hours together reading, walking, swinging, playing games, riding bikes, making silly faces, playing the harmonica, playing putt-putt, and just hanging out.

Steve lived a life of loving service to his family and friends, his church, and his community. At church, he was an active member of the Open Door Sunday School Class at Clear Lake United Methodist Church, did Mexico mission trips and UM Army trips, read scripture in worship services and participated in the Walk to Emmaus, and the annual Christmas pageant.

Steve was the kindest and gentlest of men. He loved and followed Jesus and he achieved his life’s goal – to enrich the lives of all those he touched.



Beth, Our prayers are with you & your family.
Betty & Ken Chen


Hetico Family-
So sorry to hear of Steve’s passing–at least he’s in a better place now. I knew Steve when he lived in Illinois and although it has been a number of years, I remember him as a funny, soft-hearted man. May your memories help you thru this difficult time.
Val Nystrom


  1. Beth,
    I am so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. He was a wonderful man to know and I will miss him. My loving thoughts and prayers are extended to you and your family.

    Ginger Frasier
  2. I’m so sorry to hear… my thoughts and prayers are with you, family and friends.

    Cosette Weliver
  3. Beth, I’m so incredibly sorry for the loss you and your family are going through. Steve was the quintessential Big Old Teddy Bear. Such a sweet and kind soul. He honestly would do anything for you. The world is a much worse place today.

    Kevin E. Jennings
  4. I just learned about Steve’s passing…he was a great guy. I’m blessed to have known him.

    Kerry Soileau
  5. Beth,

    I just saw his passing in the Carthaginian. He was a great guy and we had good times together. He and I were part of the inaugural swim team at Carthage College. My favorite thing was on road trips, when we stopped for a meal, after the meal I would write my tip for the waitress on a napkin “Watch out for Steve Hetico”. He was a DON and I was a BUFF (different fraternities) but we always looked past any fraternal rivalries and were great friends.
    I am truly sorry for your loss. I will miss Steve more than any other member of the swim team, as he and I were from the same cloth ( we both had great senses of humor and found laughter in many of the same things).

    Carl Anderson ('75)

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